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Tags: Beach Boys | Culture

The Beach Boys: A Cultural Time Capsule

The Beach Boys: A Cultural Time Capsule
The Beach Boys perform during the pre-game celebrations of Super Bowl XXXII at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport

Michael Reagan By with Michael R. Shannon Friday, 03 September 2021 11:34 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Both of the authors of this column were Beach Boys fans in the 1960s. Michael Reagan was more of an evangelist for the group than Michael Shannon and he introduced his father to surf music, which was perfect for the governor of California. The band became a favorite of Ronald Reagan, too.

The Beach Boys are topical this week due to one of those coincidences of modern interconnected life.

On Thursday last week, the Shannon-half was attending a concert by a Beach Boys tribute band in the heart of the USA and on Friday the Reagan-half was noticing a Bill O’Reilly tweet of the real Beach Boys performance on Long Island.

Listening to Beach Boys music now is a journey into a time and a culture that no longer exists. Some of the songs today sound like product placement: '409,' 'Little Honda' and 'Disney Girls' come to mind, but that wasn’t a trend at the time the songs were recorded.

Others are teenage angst — without today’s graphic sex. But the overall impression one gets while listening is of joy and happiness.

This is reflected in the audience.

The Beach Boys in their prime represented popular culture before it became a poisonous, reactionary Counter–Culture. They sang of duty, loyalty, restraint, Christianity and maturity.

In 'Be True to Your School' mthe theme was loyalty to your high school and the bonds forged at that time in your life.

"So be true to your school now

Just like you would to your girl or guy

Be true to your school now

And let your colors fly"

In ‘When I Grow Up to Be a Man’ there is a wistful feeling as the singer thinks about the future, a future totally foreign to today’s hedonistic and narcissistic young.

He’s wondering if he will love his wife for the rest of his life and if his kids will think he’s a square, and he’s all of 21 years old! In the Sixties that was a natural progression for young people and nothing out of the ordinary.

Today, at age 21 many are still living in the basement working on their master’s degree in Grievance Studies.

And the lyrics in ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ are so foreign to today’s youth that explaining the meaning would require one of the Afghan ‘interpreters’ the Biden administration is so busy importing.

In this song, evidently a phone call from the boyfriend to the girlfriend, he is dreaming:

“Wouldn't it be nice if we were older?

Then we wouldn't have to wait so long

And wouldn't it be nice to live together

In the kind of world where we belong?”

They are obviously in agreement that the couple will wait until they are older and married before having sex. He sings of maturity, patience and deferring gratification.

And in ‘God Only Knows’ the singer believes his relationship with his girl is a blessing from God and he’s not embarrassed to say so.

The tribute band concert was like entering a time machine to a happier place. There, popularity wasn’t based on how much you dislike the USA and its institutions and citizens. Fame wasn’t confused with notoriety and being happy and thankful wasn’t greeted with a sneer.

Culture then didn’t have to be ‘counter’ to be popular.

Today, The Beach Boys would never get airplay. Their music would be ridiculed by current cultural gatekeepers. They would be the butt of jokes on late night TV.

The fact that a rock band who loved the USA would be spurned in today’s entertainment world only proves how degraded and debouched America’s culture as become since the Sixties.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker's bureau. Read Michael Reagan's Reports — More Here.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)" Read Michael Shannon's Reports — More Here.

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Reagan
The fact that a rock band who loved the USA would be spurned in today’s entertainment world only proves how degraded and debouched America’s culture as become since the Sixties.
Beach Boys, Culture
693
2021-34-03
Friday, 03 September 2021 11:34 AM
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